Barrow Raiders Ladies have bolstered their first team options, with second-rower Leah Clough and winger Charlotte Todhunter promoted from the club’s reserves side.

The pair will link up with Amanda Wilkinson’s squad ahead of Sunday’s trip to Warrington Wolves Women in the Betfred Women’s Super League.

Second-rower Clough, 22, first joined the reserves squad six weeks ago, having not played a game of rugby since leaving school. 

She made her debut for the reserves after just three training sessions, producing a Woman of the Match performance. Now she has done enough to earn a call-up to the first team. 

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“Since my debut I’ve trained hard learning the different plays and improving my technique,” she said. “Moving to the first team is a fantastic opportunity, and one which will really help my development. 

“Training is certainly a step up. It is physically and mentally more demanding, but the lasses have already made me feel very welcome.”

Meanwhile, Todhunter, 29, started playing rugby at the age of seven and turned her hand to rugby union during her teenage years.

Having represented an U18s rugby union team in Furness, she went on to play two-and-a-half seasons as a county level winger, before her time in the game was cut short due to a badly dislocated knee. 

13 years on, after finding out about the Raiders Ladies’ reserve team, she returned to the sport and has impressed during her five appearances so far in 2022.

“It’s an absolute honour and a privilege to have been recognised as a player and given the opportunity to play alongside the Super League girls,” she said.

“I’ll be proud to wear the team shirt. I’m really excited to get stuck in now, to develop my skills more and to make a positive contribution to the team.”

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On the new arrivals, Barrow Raiders Ladies head coach Amanda Wilkinson said: “Having lost six backs due to injury over the past few games, I’ve been on the lookout for a couple of options.

“The reserves squad has gone from strength to strength and numbers are constantly growing, which is testament to the group of coaches and staff putting so much hard work in to develop them.

“I have watched a few of the reserves games when possible and always have an eye on them training. I’ve also had a couple of good sessions with them over the last few weeks and they really do have some great athletes amongst them.

“Charlotte’s speed, skills and positive attitude really impressed me, while even though Leah is still relatively new to the game, she is a natural, showing great leadership and skill while displaying the confidence to excel and be the best she can be!

“I’m really looking forward to developing them both and watching them grow as players.”

Clough and Todhunter have been handed the number 31 and 29 shirts respectively. 

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